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Everything posted by Sweetest

  1. I did see the placement test... the thing is he can solve all the problems on the Alpha test but he does so with counting up/down, he doesn't know his math facts by memory... I think the placement tests are more useful once you get beyone alpha (he definitely can't pass the Beta test!)
  2. Thanks Ladies! I'm not as worried about being behind... I just want to make sure that Alpha is a good fit. You have reassured me that it is exactly what I'm looking for... good to know that others have done the same thing I'm planning to do. Now just need to decide if I want to order Beta at the same time I order Alpha. I think we will likely move through Alpha quickly and shipping is expensive...
  3. Currently doing Singapore with ds and it is just not working for him...I'm getting ready to try MUS and can't decide on Alpha or Beta to start. Would you start a 2nd grader who is still very slow with his addition/subtraction facts at Alpha? He understands addition and subtraction but is very slow and still relies on his fingers and counting up/down. I'm thinking Alpha would give him some strategies to help him remember his facts, but I'm also afraid it would be way too easy. What do you think?
  4. Just wanted to say that sometimes subtlety works and sometimes you will need to be more direct. Subtlety has only worked for me once... I've been there (and I'm back there now, ugh). 6 years ago when my dd was in K and already reading chapter books all I had to do was mention to the teacher that she was already a really strong reader...2 weeks after school started she was in a daily pull-out reading enrichment program. I didn't have to ask for challenging work, the teacher recognized the need and took steps... When dd started 1st at a new school in a new state, she was again very advanced in reading. I mentioned to the teacher that she was already a very strong reader and I got nothing! I then said I wanted her assessed because I didn't think the 1st grade work was challenging her... she was assessed at a 5th grade level but the teacher said she needed work on comprehension. So did the same work as the rest of the class, basic easy readers that revolved around the letter of the week... I ended up pulling her out to homeschool halfway through the year because she was starting to hate reading! Last year when my ds started K, we again had the reading problem. Subtlety did not work that time either, I had to tell the teacher that I wanted DS doing more difficult work. He worked on 2nd grade reading comprehension sheets while the class did letter sounds... This year, DS is in 1st grade and I am in the midst of having the same old reading discussion. We mentioned to his teacher on two separate occasions that DS is reading chapter books and that the school's reading program looks way too easy for him. Nothing! I have now sent an e-mail telling the teacher that I want to meet and talk about her plan to challenge my child... I'm getting the runaround, but I learned from my dd's 1st grade experience that I need to keep pushing. For me the subtle approach only worked one time out of four. The direct approach doesn't always work (it didn't work for my dd in 1st and might not work this year for my DS), but if you are feeling angst about your dd's work you might feel better if you voice your concerns, even if the teacher ultimately doesn't see it your way.
  5. My 10yo DD started R&S 5 this year for 5th grade and has had no problems with it (it is our first time using R&S). I really don't thing R&S assumes much previous knowledge at level 5. Even at the 5th grade level it is reviewing very basic concepts like "what is a noun". If you have an average or advanced 5th grader, I think R&S 5 is a good place to start. IMO I would only go down a level if you have a child who is struggling with English.
  6. Hmm, I'll offer a dissenting point of view... My DD went to public kindergarten and it was a great experience! I have had nothing but bad experiences since with PS (dd went to PS for half of 1st and we sent her back for 5 weeks in 4th - both very bad experiences). My DD's experience at kinder was so wonderful that I now send my ds to a private kindergarten program (we live in a different area now and the PS is very overcrowded, but if I lived in an area with decent schools I would have sent him to PS kinder rather than private). I feel like he is getting so much out of it and it it saving me a lot of sanity. I personally think that Kindergarten is a great way to give your children the school experience without all the baggage that comes along with PS as they get older. My advice would be to give the kindergarten a try if you are really feeling conflicted - you can always pull them out. Kindergarten can be a very positive experience!
  7. I'm using R&S 5 and I only have my DD do the odd problems. For the most part she does fine, but if there is a topic she is struggling with I assign the even problems the next day after reviewing the lesson... maybe this would work for you?
  8. How old is your daughter? I'm planning on using History Odyssey (Ancients 2) next year with my dd (when she is in 6th grade). It is designed to be used independently at the second level. The first level requires more parental involvement, but it looks like a lot of the work is independent (especially in comparison to Sonlight, which is what I have been using!). You can see samples of HO at Pandia Press
  9. Have you checked out the Try Before You Buy? I'm still deciding between HO Ancients 1 and SOTW AG for next year, and looking at the samples gave me a good idea of what to expect from HO. I'm really leaning towards HO for next year. I like that HO schedules everything out for you...
  10. We do WWE 3 most days. I do day 1 and 2 on the same day because day 1 is narration that doesn't require writing from my DD... I do day 3 and 4 on separate days because they both require writing. It takes us 20-30 minutes a day. We are able to get a week and a half worth of work done in one week using this schedule... I'm hoping to finish WWE 3 and get started on WWE 4 this year (working with a 5th grader).
  11. I'm doing FF1 with my 5th grader this year and I think it is a perfect fit (we did a very little latin in 1st grade, so she essentially has no Latin experience). I think it would also work well with a 6th, 7th, or 8th grader... I think 3rd grade is too young for FF1, especially without any Latin experience. I would say at the earliest, you could use it with a 4th grader who had done some latin in the past, but even that might be a struggle... I know you have FF1 already, so you can probably see that the grammar concepts move very quickly (the vocabulary moves at a much slower pace). So I'll offer my advice (since you asked for it ;)) Why don't you start FF1 with your 6th grader next year and let your 3rd grader just listen in. Maybe learning some of the vocab, latin phrases... but keep it low key. We also have Lingua Angelica to go along with FF and your 3rd grader could easily memorize those hymns/prayers too.
  12. OhElizabeth - I think it was more about the method than the level for us, I think we would have had the same problems with WT2. We didn't usually do second drafts either, I would just have DD type up her second draft with any necessary corrections (she loved doing the typing part!) When I said she didn't like re-writing, I meant she didn't like having to retell the story in her own words - the first time through :) I agree it is a good solid program, but the process was just not a good fit for us!
  13. I guess I'll be the dissenting opinion. We did WT1 last year (4th grade) and it was the most painful part of our year. My dd is a bright girl with great spelling/writing skills but she hated re-writing the stories... she just thought that was silly. So WT and the re-writing method did not work for us. I also found the grammar too easy for her... That being said, if you really want to do an imitation program, I do think this is a nice gentle introduction to the method, it just wasn't the right method for us :tongue_smilie: I found WWE and realized that this is the kind of program I have been looking for all along, I love that it is teaching my daughter how to summarize main points/details and keep ideas in her head long enough to get them on paper. We are doing WWE3 this year and loving it!
  14. SWB explains it so well in her audio lecture on Elementary Writing... here is my attempt :001_smile: In order to be able to write complete thoughts on paper, a child has to first be able to hold the complete thought in their mind long enough to get it onto the paper. Dictation lets the child practice "holding onto the thought" without the added burden of also having to come up with an original thought... Based on that theory... the fact that your child is "losing the thought" when he is interrupted during the transcribing portion of dictation, indicates he needs more practice "holding the thought". Does that help any?
  15. You need to listen to SWB's audio lecture... it will definitely reassure you! My biggest battles in homeschooling my dd have been over writing! I couldn't figure out why it was so difficult for her. She is a very bright girl but getting her to write an original essay or even re-writing from a model was torture. Then I listened to SWB's lecture last spring and a lightbulb went off! This year I started my DD (5th grade) on WWE 3 and am thrilled. I feel like we are making progress and working towards a goal, where before I just felt like we were floundering. We do very little writing other than WWE. We use Rod & Staff for grammar and they also cover writing topics but I skip any original writing they require and just have her do only the re-writing type assignments. I'm not worried about how little writing we are doing because I know original writing is the ultimate goal, not the means to achieve the goal. I have really embraced SWB's writing philosopy :001_smile:
  16. The thing is that studied dictation has a different purpose... It is used to help children "see" correct writing modeled (puncutation, usage, spelling...) and then have them imitate it from memory. I think it is a valuable exercise to develop good mechanics, but I don't believe it will help with developing the writing process. SWB uses dictation primarily to teach the writing process while incidentally improving mechanics. When a writer has a thought, s/he needs to hold that thought in their mind long enough to get it onto paper. If you can't do the basic step of "holding onto" your thought, you can't write. "Holding the thought" is the skill SWB is trying to develop through dictation in WWE. We are not born with the ability to put thoughts onto paper, this is a skill that needs to be learned. I do think some children probably learn how to do this naturally, but SWB's method helps move the process along! At least that is how I understand it :tongue_smilie:
  17. My understanding is that the purpose of the dictation is to teach your child to transfer a complete thought from their mind and put it onto paper. I think having the child visually read the passage first might undermine this skill development. Have you listened to SWBs audio lecture about teaching Elementary writing? I would highly recommend it... WWE really makes sense to me after listening to it! You can buy the audio download here.
  18. Sonlight used to use the Ancient China Treasure Chest for Core 5 - now they use the Ancient China Kit. I haven't used it but it might be worth checking out :001_smile:
  19. Personally, I would go back a level. I started WWE 3 with a 5th grader this year and it is a perfect fit for us, but I was fully prepared move back to level 2 if it was a struggle. I've only done Level 3, but from looking at the samples the skills build incrementally and level 2 would have easier dictation passages, might even start with some copywork, but I'm not sure... If you think easier dictation and/or copywork will help your situation and you want the help of a structured program, then you are better off going back a level than to branch out on your own. I know people do develop their own program, but I personally like the structure and security of the incremental program that someone else has planned for me :) IMO you should definitely not let her write the words incorrectly. I think it would be better for you to re-read the entire passage, if need be, to refresh her memory after helping her spell a word (I actually had to do that today, on our first 3 sentence dictation).
  20. My first thought was Maine, too! Not sure how the homeschooling laws are but I'm guessing they are fairly hands-off. My DH is an Arizona boy, so I'm still trying to convince him that he can survive a Maine winter!
  21. :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: Well said! A Christian group that feel the need to exclude is not a group I want to be a part of! Hmm, that's a great point. My local "Christian" Home Educators group has a requirement that you must "believe" the statements, (statements that Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians can not assent to!) As a Catholic I can't sign something that says I believe something I don't. If I was asked to acknowledge and respect the SOF it would be a different matter. If it were a group that is respectful of other faiths while trying to maintain their particular Christian character I would probably be willing to sign. If it were a group that allowed others in so that they could "save the sinners", I would have to walk away. I am a faithful Catholic Christian and I acknowledge and respect the beliefs of others, and I want my children to do the same. I don't think they will learn to do that in an exclusive Christian group, especially in one where the SOF excludes me as a Christian!
  22. I guess I'm in the minority...I am a yarn snob and very picky about my needles, but I would highly recommend that you give the KP needles a try first (and spend all the money you save on some yummy yarn!) I have used both. I first tried the Addi needles because I had heard so much about them, and they are wonderful needles... However, they are very expensive, so in order to get a big range of sizes you will be spending a lot of money. I like having lots of needles and since I never knit to gauge on patterns I always buy several needles when I need new ones for patterns. At some point I decided to try the KP needles and I must say they are comparable and they cost much much less ( I will never shell out $15-$20 for Addis again!). The main difference is that the KPs are pointier, but I see that as a positive not a negative, I think pointiness is a personal preference :001_smile:. The wire is very flexible and the join is very smooth on both (either needle will be a vast improvement if you are used to using Boye circs - I've been there!) I also have the Wooden Options needles (the ones with the interchangeable needles/cables) and these are really wonderful and beautiful, but I prefer metal for smaller gauges (and Options doesn't offer a 16" cable, so if you use smaller circs, like me, the options set is less useful). If you need DPs I would also recommend the KP nickel ones - they are also wonderful.
  23. Honestly, I think the subtle exclusionary statements of many SOF are alien to many people. Like I said, I don't think most members of my local group even realize that the SOF is Anti-Catholic. I think that many people consider Anti-Catholic to be so much more in your face, like bashing our Pope or mocking our reverence of Mary and the Saints. I don't think most people would consider that a simple word like "only" could exclude us, but unfortunately it does! It would be nice if Protestant only groups would identify themselves as such, then I would know upfront that they are exclusive and that I don't belong. If a Catholic group called themselves "Christian Home Educators" and then expected Protestant and Orthodox Christians to sign a Catholic statement of faith, I would find that ridiculous. I just think if you are going to call your group "Christian", then you should include all Christians. Otherwise, as a PP stated, be specific and upfront about what kind of Christians you want to include! My ideal: a group of Christian Home Educators who come together under the belief that "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!" And who accept (and even encourage) those who don't believe to join as long as they are respectful of that basic tenant!
  24. I think this is the right way to do it. Unfortunately the SOF I would have to sign requires me to actually "believe". I would be perfectly willing to sign a form agreeing to respect and not violate the groups SOF, that's something I do every day anyway :001_smile: I understand why Christian groups want their views to be respected and propagated, I just don't see why we have to exclude others in order to achieve this. I would agree with one of the PPs that such exclusion is counterintuitive to our Christian faith. Jesus didn't shun people because they didn't yet accept him, why should we be any different?
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